Keith Connors

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(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers plan to retain Todd Bowles as their head coach for the 2023 season, regardless of the outcome of Monday night’s wild-card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Bowles, who is 59 years old, led the Bucs to an NFC South title despite having a losing record (8-9) during the regular season. This is the first time the team has reached the playoffs with a losing record in a non-strike year.

The Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, has never relieved a head coach of his duties after only one season. Bowles was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach on March 30th when Bruce Arians decided to move to a front office position as senior assistant to general manager Jason Licht and execute a succession plan. Bowles enjoys a good relationship with quarterback Tom Brady, who ended his retirement after 40 days to return to the Bucs on March 13.

The future of offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is less clear. The Bucs had averaged more than 30 points per game in the first three seasons under Leftwich and Arians, but this season the team finished 15th in total offense with 346.7 yards per game and 18.4 points per game, which is the eighth-worst in the league. Bowles has expressed a desire to eventually give up the defensive play-calling duties next season and could appoint either Kacy Rodgers or Larry Foote to take over that role.

Overall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had to rebuild their offensive line this season and have managed to win the NFC South by finishing with a 4-2 record in the division, including sweeping the Saints and rallying from an 11-point deficit to beat Carolina 30-24 two weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how the team performs in the playoffs and how their coaching decisions will affect the team’s performance in the future.